Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg spoke with the media yesterday and was asked whether running the ball is the way to beat the Colts given that their strength of defense is the pass rush. The Colts come into this game with the 5th worst run defense in the NFL.
"Yeah, well, that's real, and that's all good. The two teams that beat them did it that way and jumped out on top of them. And other teams wanted to do it, and then find themselves behind. It's all good unless you're 14 points behind or something like that. That's with every team, with every defense. Your point is valid there. They have such great pass rush ability that you do need to do some things to counter that. There's many different ways to go about it and I think we've got a pretty good plan. We'll see if it works."
The two teams that beat them he refers to are the Texans and Jaguars. Texans RB Arian Foster went nuts facing the Colts in the first game of the year running for 231 yards and 3 TDs. As a team the Texans rushed for 257 yards in that game. Maurice Jones-Drew didn't fare quite as well as Foster, but he had a solid game against Indy with over a hundred yards and a TD. Jacksonville had 174 yards as a team that day including 44 rushing yards from QB David Garrard.
Arian Foster actually ran for over a hundred yards and a TD in his second game against the Colts. The Redskins Ryan Torain also had over 100 yards and a couple TDs against Indy this year.
As I said earlier, the Colts are giving up over a 133 yards a game this year, which is the fifth most in the NFL. They've surrendered the third most TDs... Clearly, they're a team susceptible to the run. However, as Marty alludes to you've got to have the chance to run the ball. If Peyton Manning and that Colts offense starts scoring, you aren't catching up by running.